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2 days left to return video card, please advise

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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December 7, 2009 8:53:08 PM

I currently have a GTX 260 216 shaders SC from evga.

To tell you the truth I'm not 100% satisfied with this card. Don't get me wrong, theres no problems with it. Infact it runs cooler than any card I've ever owned. Right now it's idling at 35c and hardly ever hits 60c under load.

My issue is performance. I thought once I get a better video card I could run most things on max. Even in Call of duty world at war I get stuttering sometimes. Not often, but it happens.

My question is, should I return this card for something better? Would it even make a difference considering my Computer specs?

I'm using a G31t-LM2 motherboard from ECS.
Intel E5200 2.5 gigs (not overclocked, can't due to crappy ECS motherboard)
4 gigs of ddr2 ram 667mhz 2x2
20" lcd monitor running at 1650x1050
EVGA GTX 260 216shader superclocked.

I was considering a GTX 275 then overclocking that, or maybe even trying a 4890 and overclocking that. I've had bad experiences with ATI cards though. They run way too hot. Should I even consider a better video card? Or should I use the extra $100 I was going to spend on the newer card and use that for a new motherboard? One that allows overclocking.

I only have two days left before my 15 day return policy expires at Frys. Please advise.

Thank you
a b U Graphics card
December 7, 2009 8:57:38 PM

Your CPU might be your limiting factor. At 2.5ghz, it may be what is preventing you from enjoying the benefits of a GPU upgrade. I don't have much else to offer, to be honest, but perhaps a mobo upgrade (one that allows OC on the CPU) might be your answer to unlocking more performance on your platform.
a b U Graphics card
December 7, 2009 9:00:36 PM

After reading the building a balanced gaming pc articles I would definitely say your cpu is bottlenecking the GTX 260. Instead of going through the hassle of buying and installing a whole new board you could just upgrade your cpu.

Core 2 Duo E7400: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Core 2 Duo E7500: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

The E7500 would pretty much be a no brainer since it's only $3 more lol.
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December 7, 2009 9:02:57 PM

Thanks guys, I did have a hunch that my cpu was limiting my performance.

Would getting just CPU and keeping my current motherboard be sufficient? My current motherboard doesn't lend itself to any type of overclocking. Infact the manufacture website doesn't even list my motherboard hah. It's one of those motherboards that came in a Lenovo computer. Real cheap.
a b U Graphics card
December 7, 2009 9:07:47 PM

A new, higher clock CPU (if supported by the motherboard) will give a good performance increase. A good mobo that can OC your e5200 (a very good CPU to OC) will also give you a sizable performance increase. Which route you want to go depends on your personal preferences.
December 7, 2009 9:11:53 PM

edeawillrule said:
After reading the building a balanced gaming pc articles I would definitely say your cpu is bottlenecking the GTX 260. Instead of going through the hassle of buying and installing a whole new board you could just upgrade your cpu.

Core 2 Duo E7400: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Core 2 Duo E7500: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

The E7500 would pretty much be a no brainer since it's only $3 more lol.



Hey What is the difference between the E7400 and the E6500? The E6500 is cheaper
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Only difference I can see is the cache difference.

I think my current cache is 2mb. Would the E7500 you listed work on my motherboard? The front side bus on the CPU you listed looks higher than my current one. Would my lowly motherboard support the upgrades?
December 7, 2009 9:13:30 PM

JofaMang said:
A new, higher clock CPU (if supported by the motherboard) will give a good performance increase. A good mobo that can OC your e5200 (a very good CPU to OC) will also give you a sizable performance increase. Which route you want to go depends on your personal preferences.



I think I may have to get both cpu and motherboard. My motherboard will definitley have to be replaced in the future anyways since when I bought it a year ago, it was already a budget outdated computer.
a b Î Nvidia
a c 376 U Graphics card
December 7, 2009 9:16:48 PM

Yeah, at that resolution a GTX 260 shouldn't really have any problems. However you may want to consider an HD5770 instead as it's in the same performance area, a lot more power efficient and DX11. A bit cheaper these days as well.
As for the processor if that board can handle an e5200 it can probably handle all of the core2 chips so really what matters is how much you want to spend. A decent core2quad will cost you $150-250. Alternately you could get an Athlon II x4 and a new motherboard and OC it. Might end up with better performance for similar money to a non-OCed c2q.
a b U Graphics card
December 7, 2009 9:17:03 PM

The cache difference I think would make a significant impact on performance but you might want to get a second opinion.
a b U Graphics card
December 7, 2009 9:18:13 PM

Heck you may want to wait a couple of months and get a Core i5/7 build
a b U Graphics card
December 7, 2009 9:32:03 PM

In terms of performance, the extra 1 mb of cache will not impact performance very much. If you want the cheapest route, get the E6500; if you want to future-proof, I recommend getting an AMD or i5/7 based build, as right now socket 775 is being phased out.
If you choose to replace the motherboard (regardless of the cpu) you will likely need to reinstall your OS. If you don't have access to the physical media, you'll likely need to purchase a new OS, so keep this in mind in terms of which option you choose.
a b Î Nvidia
a c 376 U Graphics card
December 7, 2009 9:37:06 PM

The E6500 is close to $100 and that's a lot to pay for a less than 20% increase in clock speed. He would be better off getting a new motherboard because his current chip can easily double that clock speed increase just with an easy OC.
If he is going to bother replacing the processor I don't think anything less than a quad makes sense.
a b U Graphics card
December 7, 2009 9:42:20 PM

That's true regarding the performance, but personally I think that if he's going to replace the mobo it would make more sense to build off of a new platform, such as AM3 or i5/i7.

Depending on his current mobo, he might not be able to support a quad; the mobo may be limited by wattage of the cpu as well. He could post the mobo specs here and we might be able to find it, but otherwise there's no way of knowing whether it supports quads or not.
Edit: missed the info in the first post about the mobo model.
December 7, 2009 10:16:50 PM

If getting new board, just for god sake keep away from ECS.
Good brands are Asus, Gigabyte, MSI for example.
December 7, 2009 10:45:57 PM

jyjjy said:
Yeah, at that resolution a GTX 260 shouldn't really have any problems. However you may want to consider an HD5770 instead as it's in the same performance area, a lot more power efficient and DX11. A bit cheaper these days as well.
As for the processor if that board can handle an e5200 it can probably handle all of the core2 chips so really what matters is how much you want to spend. A decent core2quad will cost you $150-250. Alternately you could get an Athlon II x4 and a new motherboard and OC it. Might end up with better performance for similar money to a non-OCed c2q.




Really? I can get any core 2 duo or core 2 quad on my motherboard? Wow that's cool. That opens up a lot of options for me then.
December 7, 2009 10:49:32 PM

I think my motherboard may be G31T-M2 instead of G31T-LM2.

I've heard of G31T-M2's before and have seen articles about them, but never G31T-LM2. I think the "LM2" part is just something for Lenovo brand computers. Heck, "L" might even stand for Lenovo, I don't know.

If my motherboard can support a quad, I think that would be the safest and easiest route for me. I'm not too concerned with future proofing because I pretty much just buy bargain bin stuff and upgrade later when the need arises.
December 8, 2009 12:53:35 AM

If you're on a tight budget, why don't you just get a new motherboard, you can get an asus for less than $80 and phenom II x2 3.0ghz at about $90 then stick with your current video card. And yes stay away from any ECS products video cards or motherboards, they die quickly.
a b Î Nvidia
a c 376 U Graphics card
December 8, 2009 1:06:47 AM

For that price he can get a Q8400
a b U Graphics card
December 21, 2009 2:08:36 AM

The E5200 is a great overclocker. Get it to at least 3.0GHz and it won't be much of a bottleneck. 3.6-4.0GHz on air is also not too difficult for the E5200.

The E6300 P2D (basically a E5200 +300Mhz to 2.8GHz) performs ok with a GTX260 with only minor bottlenecks in most games, moderate bottlenecks in a few, and only major bottlenecks in GTA4 (horribly coded console port which requires a quad core to even run smoothly).

Get your E5200 over 3GHz and you should be fine with most games.
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/build-balanced-plat...


Also, you might want to consider returning the GTX260 and getting a 4870. It gets the same performance, is cheaper, and performs better with less powerful CPUs due to more lenient drivers...
(ATI has heavy drivers that fares better with slower cpus, iirc from another post),
a c 168 Î Nvidia
a c 271 U Graphics card
September 17, 2010 3:50:58 PM

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